Hull secures £32-million for UK City of Culture 2017 celebrations

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 16 Sep 2016

A whopping £32m will be spent in Hull during the UK City of Culture 2017 year.

The figure is double the original £18m funding target set after the city's successful bid three years ago. And it dwarfs the £20m budget Derry raised as host for the previous City of Culture celebrations in 2013.

Hull City of Culture chief executive Martin Green said: "It is a massive vote of confidence in Hull and allows us to deliver everything we said we would - with knobs on."It gives us a fantastic opportunity to reach out to everyone in the city and invite them to get involved."

The budget for 2017 includes financial support from 61 organisations and companies. It includes the initial £3.6m grant from Hull City Council pledged as part of the bid as well as the funding from the 22 original so-called Bid Angels, who backed the bid with sponsorship.

Since then, funding has been secured from Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery, as well as local firms such as Arco, Smith & Nephew and MKM Building Supplies.

Mr Green said: "We are just overjoyed to have received this kind of support. When I was appointed the £18m target was already set but I always thought we could do better than that.
"I never put a new target out there but privately I thought we should aim for £30m. I thought getting £25m would be good in the current financial climate and knew we would nail it with £30m so to end up with £32m is wonderful."

How will the funding be spent?

  • Just over £20m spent on events and activities.
  • More than £5m invested in volunteering, learning and legacy and community engagement.
  • £1.6m on legacy projects beyond 2017 as well as creating a contingency budget for unexpected costs.

With details of the early part of the 2017 programme due to be released next week, Mr Green said persuading people to give financial backing had been relatively easy.

"We have been blown away by the high levels of support out there," he said. "A lot of it was about the confidence generated by the success of the bid and everything that has followed that.

"This funding has come to the city thanks to the initial investment by the council as well as the people of Hull who got behind the bid.

"Without that strong commitment it would not have been possible to raise the funds necessary to deliver the unparalleled programme we are announcing next week."

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He said the council's strong initial support had helped secure funding from a range of other organisations.
"The council's support was crucial because it encouraged others to have confidence in what we were doing," he said. "That £3.6m investment has generated a return of 9:1 which ain't bad in anyone's books."

Council leader, Councillor Steve Brady, said: "I think people will be staggered when they see this figure of £32m. It is a great return on our investment in the City of Culture and I am proud of the part we have played in this."

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